NSW Department of Planning and Environment

A healthy natural environment, a flourishing economy and well–connected communities.

Gosford is the capital of the region. This thriving centre is a smart hub for health and education. The renewal of the city centre has attracted new residents, jobs, business and investment. 

The economy is strong and diversified and is supported by efficient freight and passenger connections to adjoining regions. Proximity to Greater Sydney and Newcastle, bolstered by investment in transport infrastructure, has made it possible for residents to access a wider variety of jobs and services both within and beyond the region.

Economic growth in the Northern and Southern Growth Corridors has increased investment in health, education, advanced manufacturing and service industries. Tourism and recreation have become mainstays of the economy.

Settlement is concentrated around existing urban and employment areas, the Warnervale–Wadalba release area, the Northern and Southern Growth Corridors and existing rural villages to take advantage of jobs, services and public transport.

The scenic values and distinctive character of communities continue to underpin the social and cultural identity of the region.

Revitalised local centres have become livelier, more attractive places, with vibrant retail and services.

Communities are better connected by an integrated transport system that prioritises cycling, walking and public transport.

There is enough housing to satisfy demand around Gosford City Centre, in growth corridors and local centres across the region, which are well supported by infrastructure, jobs, services and transport. Greater housing supply has helped housing affordability.

There is greater housing diversity to suit the changing needs of the community, particularly the ageing population and the needs of weekend and seasonal visitors.

The region’s renowned natural environment provides attractive settings for a range of lifestyles and is a drawcard for visitors beyond the region.

Coordinated land use and infrastructure planning have assured the longer term productivity of agricultural lands. Agribusiness and extractive resources support local communities and contribute to the State’s economy.

A ‘green grid’ criss–crosses the region allowing residents to connect to a network of open space, natural areas and recreational facilities. Protecting the region’s coastal areas, water resources and biodiversity has assured the lifestyles, economic prosperity and environmental health of the region.

Improvements to water and energy efficiency have strengthened the region’s resilience to natural hazards and climate change.

To achieve this vision, the NSW Government has set four goals for the region:

  • A prosperous Central Coast with more jobs close to home
  • Protect the natural environment and manage the use of agricultural and resource lands
  • Well–connected communities and attractive lifestyles
  • A variety of housing choice to suit needs and lifestyles.


Central Coast 2036

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The Central Coast has outstanding natural assets, enjoys close proximity to the Hunter and Sydney and has an enviable lifestyle. It continues to be a very attractive region to live and work. The Central Coast is expected to have a population of 415,000 in 2036.

Managing the growth and change in the region over the next 20 years so it remains a great place to live is the impetus behind the Central Coast Regional Plan 2036 – a 20-year blueprint for the future.

The Plan responds to wide-ranging community and stakeholder consultation with a plan to deliver more local jobs, greater housing diversity, livelier urban centres with more varied retail, cafes and entertainment, efficient public transport and a protected natural environment.

It promotes the renewal of Gosford, Wyong and other local centres, investment in the growth corridors between Somersby and Erina and Tuggerah and Warnervale. The Plan supports the strong agricultural sector and resource lands to help build economic opportunity and increase local jobs.

More housing and a greater variety of housing are proposed in Gosford City Centre, the growth corridors, local centres across the region and in the new Warnervale-Wadalba land release areas. A vibrant new town centre is planned for Warnervale, as well as the revitalisation of the Wyong, Tuggerah and Erina centres.

Protecting and connecting important natural areas will safeguard the environment and the important connections that residents have to it.

Improvements to public transport are foreshadowed to make it easier for residents, business and visitors to connect with jobs, centres and natural areas within the region and between the Central Coast and other regions. Cycling and walking paths will also be enhanced.

The Central Coast Regional Plan 2036 encompasses a vision for the future of a healthy natural environment, a flourishing economy and well-connected communities and it outlines the actions, the timeframe and the accountabilities for achieving it. I urge everyone who cares about the Central Coast to get behind it.

We recognise the Darkinjung and the Kuring-gai are the original owners of the land. They are important partners in protecting the Aboriginal heritage, environment and economic opportunities on their lands.

Scot MacDonald MLC
Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast.


The Central Coast is ideally situated amidst a beautiful landscape and within easy reach of Sydney and Newcastle.

The region is located at the centre of the State’s fastest growing corridor – between Sydney and Newcastle – where the population is estimated to grow to 1.1 million by 2036.

The Central Coast is already a great place to live and visit but over the next 20 years it has the potential to be much more – a place with thriving communities; lively centres; new homes, jobs and services; and a reinvigorated Gosford. A place where safeguarding the environment is paramount. The Central Coast Regional Plan 2036 will deliver this future for the region.

The Plan will guide the NSW Government’s land use planning priorities and decisions over the next 20 years. Importantly, it identifies:

  • economic, social and environmental opportunities to build a more prosperous region; and
  • actions to guide development and land use.

The Plan provides an overarching framework that will guide the preparation of detailed land use plans, the determination of development proposals and inform infrastructure funding decisions. While a series of priority actions is included, medium and longer term actions will be determined according to rates of growth and economic change.

The Central Coast Regional Plan 2036 is the product of extensive consultation with Central Coast Council and the wider community, firstly through a discussion paper released in 2014 and then a draft plan in 2015–16. The feedback from these consultations has been integral to finalising the Plan.

The Central Coast Regional Plan 2036 provides the strategy necessary to deliver the vision for the Central Coast (see Central Coast 2036 map).

Series of infographics showing population growth, total jobs, number of dwellings, population size, employed residents and employment self containment in Central Coast region

Delivering the Plan - the NSW Government's commitment

To deliver the Central Coast Regional Plan 2036, all levels of government, the private sector and the community will have to work together. The Plan needs to be incorporated into each stakeholder’s future activities.


The NSW Government has established the Central Coast Delivery, Coordination and Monitoring Committee to deliver, coordinate and be accountable for achieving the vision and goals of the Plan (see Central Coast Delivery, Coordination & Monitoring Committee table below). This is a dedicated new body comprising the Central Coast Council and State agencies. It will listen and work with all stakeholders and the community to make sure that growth is aligned with infrastructure and delivered in the right places at the right time.


The Committee will implement this Plan – prioritising the actions needed to seize on immediate and emerging opportunities for the region. In the short term, its focus will be on planning for growth corridors, freight and logistics, agribusiness, resources and the protection of regionally significant biodiversity corridors. Over time, new priorities will be identified to support growth and change in the region.

Funding will be provided in growth areas for regional infrastructure covering transport, health, education, open space, recreation, emergency services and justice. The Government will prepare a regional Special Infrastructure Contributions Plan with a schedule of infrastructure projects to support this Plan.

This Plan sets regional planning priorities and provides a framework for regional and local planning decisions. It identifies where to focus new housing and jobs. Targeting growth in strategic centres and growth corridors close to transport will deliver social and economic benefits. The Plan sets in place line–of–sight land use planning for the region, subregions (west of the M1 Pacific Motorway) and the single local government area. Line–of–sight planning will allow issues to be identified and resolved early, rather than at the development application stage.

Central Coast Delivery, Coordination & Monitoring Committee

Coordination Delivery Accountability
  • Aligning across Government

  • Partnering with local government

  • Informing infrastructure priorities

  • Guiding investment

  • Listening to the community

  • Actioning the 5–year Implementation Plan

  • Funding infrastructure investment with a Special Infrastructure Contributions Plan

  • Directing regional district planning

  • Supporting local planning

  • Monitoring activity and trends

  • Publishing annual reports and information

  • Revising and adjusting directions towards goals


Each goal within the Regional Plan has directions that provide a focus for a series of actions. Key actions include:

  • identify opportunities in the Northern and Southern Growth Corridors and update local plans to foster economic development;
  • secure long term planning and infrastructure outcomes by updating the North Wyong Shire Structure Plan;1
  • align housing and employment land with development–enabling infrastructure through the implementation of an Urban Development Program, Employment Land Development Monitor, and review of developer contributions;
  • support the Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council in the strategic assessment of its landholdings to identify priority sites for further investigation of economic opportunities;
  • address land use needs west of the M1 Pacific Motorway to provide integrated and adaptable planning outcomes for natural assets, productive lands and rural lifestyles; and
  • support Central Coast Council in aligning local plans with the Regional Plan, and develop and implement a local planning toolkit to inform the preparation of local planning strategies.

An Implementation Plan for 2016–18 accompanies this plan.

Regional district planning will be undertaken through a partnership with all stakeholders, led by the Committee. Priorities for regional district planning are highlighted in this Plan where matters cross jurisdictional boundaries.

A Government direction will be issued to the Council so that when it prepares new planning proposals or updates local planning controls, they are consistent with the vision and guiding principles of this Plan. The Committee will support the preparation of local land use strategies that translate the vision and guiding principles of this Plan into more detailed priorities for growth and change that can be applied at the local level (see Planning hierarchy figure below).


The Committee will monitor and review progress towards achieving the vision and goals for 2036. This will help prioritise infrastructure delivery and influence policy settings.

An annual report will be prepared that presents indicators for housing, employment, communities and the environment, as well as advice to government on the delivery of short term actions. This monitoring will be conducted in partnership with Central Coast Council.

Every five years, or as needed, the Plan will be reviewed and adjustments made to make sure the vision for 2036 is realised.

Planning hierarchy

Concentric ovals showing planning hierarchy, with OUR NSW the outermost circle, and local plans innermost

A clear way forward - Partnering with the Council on pathways to prosperity

The next 20 years will be an important period for the Central Coast. The key to its future prosperity lies in leveraging the region's many competitive advantages. They include a single Council, a strong labour force, a growing population, cost–effective housing and employment land, access to major markets, viable business locations, good transport infrastructure, an enviable natural environment and a community that cares about its future.

At present, there is a disconnect from these advantages. Many people leave the region for work. There is also a separation between infrastructure and growth, and the land use planning and policy decisions that will sustain the environment and resources for the future.

The Plan empowers Central Coast Council to work in partnership with the NSW Government to:

  • foster economic development in strategic corridors and transport gateways;
  • improve the network of vibrant centres across the region that are accessible to residents;
  • accelerate housing supply and increasing housing choice within a well-planned and compact settlement pattern;
  • secure environmental corridors to protect water resources, coastal areas and biodiversity; and
  • sustain productive landscapes west of the M1 Pacific Motorway while maintaining attractive lifestyles.

The Central Coast now has a Plan to guide the region to future prosperity.

Page last updated: 28/07/2022